Al Rayyan bag full points; Al Gharafa held at home by Al Markhiya

 04 Nov 2017 - 0:00

Al Rayyan bag full points; Al Gharafa held at home by Al Markhiya
Al Rayyan’s Rodrigo Tabata kicks to score against Qatar SC during their QNB Stars League match played at Al Sadd Stadium yesterday. Pictures: Kamutty VP/ The Peninsula

By Chinthana Wasala / The Peninsula

Al Rayyan posted a 2-0 victory against Qatar SC, their sixth in the season, as the two sides clashed in round seven of the QNB Stars League at Al Sadd Stadium yesterday.
Defender Mousa Haroun (43rd minute) and playmaker Rodrigo Tabata (61st) scored the goals as the victory took Al Rayyan’s points tally to 18 from seven matches.
Coach Michael Laudrup’s men’s first chance came in the 14th, but Tabata’s power-packed free-kick was blocked by Jassim Al Hail and the goalkeeper needed medical attention after falling to the ground in the process.
On the half-hour mark, Abderrazak Hamdallah missed a sitter when he failed to tap the ball home, with Tabata doing the spadework with a free-kick. Hamdallah was soon caught in an offside trap while receiving a through ball.
After coming close on a few occasions, Al Rayyan had to wait till the 43rd minute to open the scoring. Tall defender Haroun placed the ball home after Hamdallah set him up with a header off a Gonzalo Viera cross from the left.   
Al Rayyan reduced their pace on resumption and played a composed game but doubled the lead after Tabata curled his free-kick to the far corner of the net, leaving the opposing goalkeeper stranded. The free-kick was awarded after Jasem Ali felled Tabata off the ball just outside the box.    
Elsewhere, at Al Gharafa Stadium, former champions Al Gharafa were held to a 1-1 draw by a fighting Al Markhiya. The hosts saw Vladimir Weiss score in the 10th minute but Al Markhiya equalised through Kwame Karikari in the 64th minute. Both teams have played 7 matches in the new season so far but have only one win each.
Al Gharafa launched the proceeding son a cautious note but it did not take the hosts from taking the lead in the hard-fought clash. Al Gharafa opened the scoring through Slovakian midfielder Weiss who found the net for the former champions in spectacular fashion in the 10th minute.
Weiss, who was surrounded by four Al Markhita defenders, outpaced his challengers and forced goalkeeper Mohamed Khoroub to charge out of spot. A calm Weiss ran around the goalkeeper and clipped the ball into the net from close range. It was Weiss’s fourth goal of the season for Al Gharafa.
Both sides traded attacks but Al Markhiya surprisingly defended well in the first half and walked off the Al Gharafa Stadium pitch only looking at a 1-0 deficit to take care of in the second half.
After a string of attacks in the early part of the second half, Karikari, Al Markhiya’s import from Ghana, produced the equalizer in the 64th minute.
Saleh Al Bazidi clipped a near-perfect long ball from the right flank towards Karkari who was stationed inside the Al Gharafa box. Karkari jumped high and headed the ball home with a beautiful deflection that allowed goalkeeper Qassim Burhan no chance to offer any resistance.
Al Gharafa dominated ball possession at 54 percent but Al Markhiya surprised fans by managing a total of 6 corners against just two by the former champions.
At Al Khor, Tunisian attacking midfielder Youssef Msakny was the star of the night as Al Duhail maintained their unbeaten run with a 3-1 victory over the hosts.
Yesterday’s win also sent Al Duhail to the top of the points table with 19 points while Al Sadd were pushed back to the second spot with 18 points.